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Switzerland: Consultant, Global Shelter Cluster (GSC) Associate

NGO/UN Job Vacancy

Organization: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
Country: Switzerland
Closing date: 23 Jul 2017

Purpose of Project and Background

The following are the Terms of Reference for the Global Shelter Cluster Associate.

The Global Shelter Cluster (GSC) is an open platform with around 30 partners participating consistently at the global level. There are 24 country-level clusters and cluster-like mechanisms supported by the GSC. The GSC is implementing its 2013 – 2017 Strategy. The goal of this strategy is to meet more effectively the sheltering needs of population affected by humanitarian crises, by strengthening the shelter response of humanitarian actors through leadership, coordination and accountability in the humanitarian shelter sector. To achieve this goal, the GSC Strategy 2013-2017 has three strategic aims:

  1. Responsive and flexible support to country-level shelter coordination mechanisms

  2. An effective and well-functioning Global Shelter Cluster.

  3. Increased recognition of the shelter and settlements sector as an essential component of the humanitarian response, through enhanced advocacy and communication.

The implementation of this strategy requires increased performance of the GSC, particularly in issues related to advocacy and communications. The migration to the new website has facilitated this but there have also been increased expectations that need to be met. While IFRC, UNHCR and other cluster partners are contributing to these efforts additional capacity is needed particularly in relation to the management of the website, but also in support of country-level clusters. The 2016 World Humanitarian Summit and Habitat III commitments with regards to localization, cash, participation revolution, urban response, etc., place an additional set of responsibilities on the GSC to advance in this direction.

The recent country-level operations have reduced the time that the current GSC Support Team can dedicate to enhancing the GSC communication and advocacy pillar. It has also increased substantially the workload in issues related to country-level cluster operations, budget management, and human resources. Thus IFRC is looking for a GSC Associate to provide remote support to country-level clusters from Geneva, support the management of the GSC website, deploy in various capacities (information manager, communications, team operations) in support of Shelter Coordination Teams at the country level, and support cluster-based country level preparedness and contingency planning.

Alignment to the IFRC’s objectives and strategy

(IFRC’s Strategy 2020)

This project aligns with strategic aim 1 of IFRC Strategy 2020, to save lives, protect livelihoods, and strengthen recovery from disasters and crisis. It will support the provision of professional shelter coordination services to humanitarian agencies working on shelter responses at the global and country levels. Through improved humanitarian coordination, the humanitarian response to these disasters will be more predictable and effective in meeting the humanitarian needs of the affected population.

Project objectives

The GSC Associate will ensure that the support provided to country-level shelter clusters in terms of administrative, operational, financial and human resources issues by the GSC is timely and effective. S/he will also ensure that the GSC website is kept updated and support the GSC preparedness system both at global and country levels.

Desired outcomes

The main outcomes of the GSC Associate will be to provide remote support to country-level shelter clusters, to maintain the GSC website and support other GSC activities, and to provide in-country surge support as required.

Key functions

The GSC Associate will work under the overall guidance of the IFRC Senior Officer Shelter Cluster Coordination in the Shelter Unit of the DCPRR department.

Key Functions:

1. Remote support to country-level shelter clusters

  • Follow up with pledges to ensure that they are appropriately recorded and reported.
  • Ensure that expenses are being recorded as planned.
  • Support the recruitment of personnel in the Shelter Coordination Team (SCT) by doing initial sorting of CVs, organizing interviews, and writing related reports as applicable.
  • Support in the drafting of ToRs for personnel selected to be part of SCTs.
  • Supporting in drafting MoUs with cluster partners for the deployment of personnel.
  • Support in ensuring that the personnel that will be deployed receives adequate briefings and support to facilitate their visas, travel, and integration in the team.
  • Maintain an overview of the members of the SCT, their deployment dates and their end of contracts in order to alert when new members should be recruited in order to avoid gaps.
  • Receive and organize end of mission reports, appraisals and other documents of SCT members for record.
  • Draft documents related to the response such as briefing notes, inputs to appeals and other documents.
  • Support the Shelter Cluster in maintaining their website and in other Information Management related issues.

2. Maintain the GSC website and support other GSC activities

  • Upload documents to pages as requested.
  • Create pages for responses or other issues as requested.
  • Provide support to the country-level shelter clusters in issues related to the website, particularly train shelter cluster field staff in the use of the website and address any issues they may have.
  • Maintain the pages for the Global Shelter Cluster.
  • Provide inputs to the national cluster landing pages, the home page and other general pages.
  • Manage the GSC Twitter account together with other members of the GSC Support Team.
  • Support GSC Information Management initiatives as required.
  • Support the GSC SAG and Working Groups as required.
  • Support the organization of the annual Shelter Coordination Workshop and GSC Meeting.
  • Support the commissioning and implementation of evaluations of IFRC-led Shelter Clusters.
  • Support the organization and implementation of the Humanitarian Shelter Coordination Training.

3. In-country surge support (as necessary)

  • Travel to and be embedded with country-level Shelter Coordination Teams to support in-country information management, team operations, communications, and other activities.
  • Support in-country lead information management personnel with associated data management, reporting, communication, and capacity building initiatives.
  • Support with 3W data collection processes including liaising with shelter cluster partners, aggregating datasets, and production of analytical reports.
  • Supporting in-country IM capacity building with national staff IM recruits who will support sub-hub level data collection and cluster partner collaboration.
  • Liaise as necessary with Global Focal Point for Information Management to ensure activities and processes are coherent with and continue to inform global best practices.
  • Support the organization and participation in country-level shelter cluster workshops and trainings.
  • Participate in and/or facilitate inter-agency humanitarian coordination preparedness and contingency planning workshops and trainings on behalf of the shelter cluster.
  • Support global and country-level cluster based preparedness and contingency planning activities as necessary.

Method of delivery and reasons for selecting that method

The GSC Associate will work at IFRC office in Geneva. The direct inter-action with the Senior Officer Shelter Cluster Coordination will be essential to provide the required support to country-level Shelter Clusters, and the GSC activities.

Support to be provided to the GSC Associate

The Senior Officer Shelter Cluster Coordination will provide briefings, background information and guidance as required. The Administration and Finance, Logistics and Human Resources departments will provide support in understanding the IFRC internal regulations.


The duration of the assignment will be for a total of 5 months, unless otherwise agreed.



  • University/Bachelor’s degree or similar professional or vocational qualification in Structural/Civil Engineering, Architecture, Planning, Construction Management, Law, Business Administration, Political Science, Social Science, or related field
  • Humanitarian Shelter Coordination Training


  • Post-graduate degree



  • Experience of working with the Shelter Cluster
  • A minimum of 3 years relevant professional experience
  • Familiarity with current standards and guidelines for humanitarian emergency response
  • Awareness of and exposure to the humanitarian reform and transformative agenda processes
  • Experience in managing data, filing, basic financial and budgetary information
  • Experience in supporting the organization of workshops and trainings
  • Experience in maintaining websites and social media
  • Experience in humanitarian cluster information management activities
  • Experience working in an international environment


  • Experience of working with the Global Shelter Cluster lead agencies

Knowledge and Skills

  • Ability to work with minimum supervision
  • Attention to detail and focus on the delivery of results and accountability
  • Confidentiality
  • Flexibility
  • Communications skills, both written and verbal
  • Organizational and planning skills
  • Information management skills
  • Website maintenance skills
  • Ability to work with sensitive issues in a multi-cultural environment and with virtual or/and dispersed teams


  • Fluently spoken and written English
  • Fluently spoken and written any other IFRC official language

How to apply:

Please send your applications (CV and cover letter) to